Author(s) / Creator(s)

Reem Awny Abuzaid


Political Science Department

Description or Abstract

Escaping Huntington's three waves of democracy, the Middle East has become a phenomenon. Ever since, the Middle East scholars attempted extensively to rationalize the prevailing authoritarian regimes over the past four decades; a number of theories were proposed to address such a paradox. Studying authoritarianism has denied the Middle East academic society the chance to predict the current wave of political change that is being witnessed in the region. A draw back that could be believed to have left researchers with limited theoretical explanations for the on going experience, but that could always remain superficial. in fact a number of theories on authoritarianism still carry an explanatory power, though remain sometimes insensitive to the differences between experiences, for theorizing the wave of political change in the region . Principles such as authoritarian coercive apparatus, the lack of associational life, the weak institutional structure, and the non-existence of civil liberties, represents a dichotomy that in a way can help understanding the endurance of authoritarianism over the past four decades, while on another note still can rationalize the reasons that provoked the Arab uprisings. This paper searches for variables that could validate the usefulness of the theories on authoritarianism for anticipating such a turn out of events.


2011 Egyptian Revolution, Democracy, Authoritarianism, Civil liberties, Elections, Political participation, Human rights

Faculty Advisor

Carapico, Sheila


POLS 558

Content Type



18 p.